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Aim 100 edges higher while the Footsie takes a dip

The Footsie followed Asia's lead after the BoJ left its policies unchanged, but Aim moved higher, led by Sirius Minerals
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Sirius Minerals is set to release details of the York potash project DFS on Thursday

Aim's leading shares were keeping their head above water even as the FTSE 100, following Asia's lead, dipped lower.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.7% last night as the Bank of Japan elected not to introduce more stimulus measures.

The FTSE 100, with its heavy weighting towards commodity stocks, took the news badly, and was off 0.7% at 6.132 after around 90 minutes' trading.

In contrast, the Aim 100 index of the top stocks on London's junior market was up three points at 3,367, with Sirius Minerals PLC (LON:SXX), up 13.7%, leading the advance.

The developer of the York potash project disclosed that it expects to divulge the material findings of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project on Thursday of this week.

"The DFS announcement will allow us to clearly outline the Company's strategy and value proposition throughout multiple scenarios and cycles. I look forward to detailing the world class and robust nature of our polyhalite project in North Yorkshire,” said Chris Fraser, managing director and chief executive officer of Sirius.

One of yesterday's big fallers was energy firm Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company (LON:NTOG), which took a tumble because it suddenly found itself without a nominated adviser (nomad) as a result of Sanlam Securities moving on from the nomad game.

The good news is that the company has quickly found a replacement in Strand Hanson. The company's shares would have been suspended from trading had the company not found a new nomad and yesterday's fall was sparked by investors taking the precaution of exiting a stock that potentially they would not be able to trade for a few days; today's announcement heads that danger off at the pass, and investors have piled back into the shares today, pushing the price up 42% to 0.089p.

ProPhotonix Ltd (LON:PPIX) received a 35% lift from the release of its 2015 results, which showed underlying earnings (EBITDA) doubled to $1.2mln from $0.6mln in 2014.

“We have now also achieved five consecutive half-yearly periods of positive EBITDA and three consecutive half-yearly periods of positive operating income,” declared Tim Losik, president and chief executive officer of the high technology designer and manufacturer of LED illumination systems. 

Positive results from its RPL554 dose-finding study sparked demand for shares in Verona Pharma PLC (LON:VRP), up 10.7% at 4.48p.

The drug development that is focused on respiratory disease said the primary objective of the study was met.

“It is very pleasing that the maximum bronchodilator effect of RPL554 is comparable to that seen with the highest dose of salbutamol used in the study - a dose equivalent to the highest dose of salbutamol used to treat acute exacerbations of COPD in the emergency department - it is noteworthy that this was achieved with fewer adverse events,” noted Dr Jan-Anders Karlsson, the chief executive of Verona.

Walking on the gloomy side of the small-caps street was Stellar Diamonds PLC (LON:STEL), which shed more than a quarter of its value after it raised £600,000 through the issue of shares at 10p each.

The shares shed 3.5p at 9p as the company revealed Liviu Meran and Dr Markus Elsässer will step down as non-executive directors with effect from 15 March 2016 following a rationalisation of the board in line with the company's on-going corporate cost rationalisation.


 


 


 

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